JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. - The Mars Hill men's basketball team (6-5, 4-1 SAC) downed Carson-Newman (5-6, 2-3 SAC) by a score of 99-90 Wednesday evening to wrap up their 2019 South Atlantic Conference schedule.
The Lions outscored Carson-Newman 55-42 in the second half as Ja'Shawn Brooks recorded 21 of his 25 points. Brooks drilled three of his four three-pointers in the half in the final 4:56 of play. Jamal Bryant netted 11 of his game-high 28 points in the second half.
Mars Hill entered the second trailing by four, 48-44. The Eagles held the Lions at bay until a three-pointer from Austin Gilyard with 16:38 left cut the deficit to two points. Free throws by Brooks 20 seconds later tied the game at 57 before another Gilyard three-pointer gave Mars Hill the lead to cap off an 8-0 run. The Lions maintained the lead for the remainder of the contest.
The Lions built their lead to as many as 11 on two separate occasions, but with less than two minutes remaining, a three-pointer from Tripp Davis narrowed the Mars Hill lead down to two. Four straight points from Brooks provided the Lions a cushion with less than a minute to play.
Bryant led all players with 17 points in the first 20 minutes of play, hitting 75 percent of his shots from the floor. Trailing 8-6, Bryant scored seven straight points to put the Lions up 13-10 with 3:30 played in the half.
With 9:11 left in the frame, the Eagles tied the game at 28 and took the lead on the ensuing possession as EJ Bush dropped in a layup. A three from Davis built the Carson-Newman to five. They'd maintain the lead until the 15 minute mark when a Bryant three-pointer knotted the game up at 38. An Eagles' 8-2 run put Carson-Newman up by six with 2:10 to play. Trailing by seven with under a minute to go, a three-pointer from Justen Hartfield sent the Lions into the half down by four.
Davis led all Carson-Newman players with 27 points, hitting six three-pointers on the night. Reece Anderson added 16 along with five rebounds and five assists.
The Lions close out 2019 with an exhibition versus East Tennessee State on Sunday, December 29. Tipoff is scheduled for 2 p.m.